Tune: "Pure Serene Music"
- Poetry of Li Yu


- Last updated: 2024-04-03 12:12:56

Tune: "Pure Serene Music" by Li Yu





English Translation

Spring has half gone since we two parted;

I can see nothing now but broken-hearted.

Plum blossoms fall below the steps like whirling snow;

They cover me still though brushed off a while ago.

No message comes from the wild geese's song;

In dreams you cannot come back for the road is long.

The grief of separation like spring grass

Grows each day you're farther away, alas!

By Li Yu

Why Chinese poems is so special?
The most distinctive features of Chinese poetry are: concision- many poems are only four lines, and few are much longer than eight; ambiguity- number, tense and parts of speech are often undetermined, creating particularly rich interpretative possibilities; and structure- most poems follow quite strict formal patterns which have beauty in themselves as well as highlighting meaningful contrasts.
How to read a Chinese poem?
Like an English poem, but more so. Everything is there for a reason, so try to find that reason. Think about all the possible connotations, and be aware of the different possibilities of number and tense. Look for contrasts: within lines, between the lines of each couplet and between successive couplets. Above all, don't worry about what the poet meant- find your meaning.

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